Concert Retrospective #1

Concert Retrospective #1

Teitur @ Cafe Dekcuf February 2004 Hi friends. I’ve long had this idea of a recurring blog post topic. In fact, about five years have passed since I took pictures of my old concert ticket stubs and corresponding t-shirts. I did this for two reasons: in case I forget about all of the great concerts I’ve attended and because I liked the visual way it captured the memory.   So here we are in early 2004. I had only recently begun seeing live shows down in the Byward Market, exploring my newfound independence as a 19 year old university student. My pal, Steve had begun performing as a solo artist and it was a real joy to support him at his shows. This one was a big deal because the headliner was an emerging singer-songwriter from the Faroe Islands, Teitur. My buddies and I saw him when he opened for John Mayer, a few months earlier at what turned out to be my first major concert experience at the Corel Centre (now Canadian Tire Centre). To get the opportunity to see him play again was amazing luck. Even better, this was a much more intimate venue, with a high probability of getting to meet him afterwards. It was also special because my pal Steve opened the show. What I most enjoyed about Teitur’s live performance and his songwriting, in general, was how poetic it all was. The imagery he employed, the metaphor, the honest emotion dripping from every phrase, for a 19 year old guy in the midst of a tumultuous transition between highschool and university, crushing on girls to...

Album Review #1- Spreading Rumours by Grouplove

Husband and Wife’s Top Ten Albums of the Past Twelve Months Last month, a new school year began, and for many of us, September feels like the beginning of the new year. It especially feels this way for teachers and students, and even when we’re not in a school setting, much of our lives have revolved around back to school shopping in August, anxiously awaiting who our new teachers (or students) would be on Labour Day weekend, and then going to our classes to meet a new group of people in September. With that in mind, we reflected back on the past school year and our recent summer vacation, September 2014 to August 2015. There were certain albums that took up residence in our minds, hearts, and the CD player in the van. Yes, we are old school like that. So, for the month of October, we’ll be sharing ten albums that we enjoy enough to mention to the online world. Maybe you’ve heard them. Maybe you haven’t. Either way, we hope you enjoy the journey! Spreading Rumours by Grouplove I (Joe) am a big fan of variety on an album because it demonstrates that the musicians aren’t stuck on replicating one style for each song they write. In those cases, either the album, or the next few albums get repetitive and stale because there’s no audible growth or experimentation from the artist(s). Thankfully, Grouplove’s second album is full of songs that demonstrate not only their musical influences but their musical aspirations as well. There are catchy as pop tunes like the single, “Ways to Go”, “Shark Attack”, and “News...

As of late…

On Sunday, St. Monica’s Parish had their annual feast day mass and festivities and I was asked to provide a block of musical entertainment. So, I did what I often do and asked a few friends to join me on stage. For this occasion, it was my wife and her younger sister taking on guitar and lead vocal duties, which allowed me a rare opportunity to sit behind the drum kit. For some of you, this may be a surprise since I usually play piano and a bit of acoustic guitar, but I actually started out my band days as a drummer for the Winston Brigby Pop Experiment. They were a Kanata band I formed with two of my very good highschool friends. I’ll be sharing more about them over the next few months. Anyways, I felt a little rusty but otherwise enjoyed laying down some beats while the girls executed some excellent harmonies on songs like “Little Talks” by Of Monsters And Men, and “Speak Slow” by Tegan and Sara. My favourite song to drum to, however, was “Revival” by The Rocket Summer. Check out the original and let me know what you think…http://youtu.be/T5fuL-mAalk I was planning to post a few clips from the set, but am not sure the audio is clean enough. There is some mild distortion on what I’ve heard so far. You’ll just have to stay tuned. Also, I’m hoping to have a few gigs lined up this fall and will announce them later in September. For now, it’s off to bed. This guy’s having a very busy prep week at school. More on...

Playing at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market

On Sunday, August 12th, I had the pleasure of playing at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market on Brewer Park across from Carleton University. My very good musician pal, J. Alexander Vance, of Doll and Bad Science Fiction joined me for the day as we played 2 sets for the visitors looking for fresh produce, baked goods, and local wares. My wife, Michaela sang a few songs with us too. She has a beautiful voice and has a real talent for singing, especially harmonies, and songwriting. It was such a pleasure to sing with her and Mr. Vance. I think we’ll have to do it again real soon. For those of you who didn’t make it, or didn’t know we were playing, here’s a sampling of the tunes we played: 1 SJS original, 1 JAV original and 1 Beatles tune we covered. See Joe Smile ft. JAV- Mexican Furniture See Joe Smile ft. Michaela & JAV- I’ve Just Seen A Face (Beatles Cover) J. Alexander Vance ft. See Joe Smile- 12/31/08 Thanks to Nicole Colbeck of Little Acorn Music Management for connecting us with this gig. She is a great supporter of local music in Ottawa and even opens up her home to concerts throughout the year. Check out the Westboro House Concerts website for details! Enjoy the tunes! Joe...